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10 Simple Habits You Didn’t Know Can Help You Live Without Anxiety

10 Simple Habits You Didn’t Know Can Help You Live Without Anxiety

Life can be stressful—juggling family, friends, your career, and the daily grind of bill paying and errand-running. Don’t get overwhelmed! You don’t have to turn to therapy and medication. Instead of letting life give you panic attacks, try these ten simple habits that can help you live without anxiety.

1. Create boring routines.

If you’re doing the same thing, day after day, then you don’t have to worry about an unknown variable throwing off your entire day. Have a certain way you drive to work every morning, and go home the same way each afternoon. Work out a routine for your work day that ensures you get everything done without feeling pressed for time. Check your email first thing, work on projects right after lunch when your energy levels are high. Knowing what’s coming up in your day will reduce your anxiety about the unknown.

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2. Write down your thoughts.

Keep a journal. It might sound juvenile or time-consuming, but it helps! Writing down your thoughts gets them out of your head; you might feel more relaxed if you have them written down, but don’t have to think about them as often. Seeing them on paper might also help you work through them more logically than when they’re bumping around in your mind.

3. Study your anxiety.

When you feel anxious, stop and think about what is making you feel that way and why. Learning what sets off your anxiety can help you gain control of it in the future, and possibly even figure out how to prevent it! If you always feel anxious when you have a stressful deadline at work, you’ll know to ask your boss for an extension, or to start the project earlier. There are ways to combat and control your anxiety, once you know its source.

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4. Accept the discomfort.

When you start feeling anxious, accept it! No one likes feeling uncomfortable, but if you stop getting frustrated at the sensation, then you can help control your anxiety. The discomfort of an anxiety attack often feels so overwhelming that it leads to more and more panic, prolonging the attack unnecessarily. Accept your feelings and see how it helps you keep your anxiety under control.

5. Exercise daily.

Physical exercise greatly helps combat feelings of anxiety and depression. Instead of moping around the house, letting your thoughts control your emotions, get active! Join a gym and make up a workout routine. Run around your neighborhood. Do stretches, crunches, lift weights! Keeping your body active will keep your mind occupied, and as an added bonus, it will wear you out so you’ll fall asleep easily, without tossing and turning while anxious thoughts take over your brain.

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6. Take time to relax.

It sounds like the opposite of exercising, right? Work hard, play hard! Trying to pack your day too full is one way to find yourself overcome by anxiety. Don’t be afraid to say no to certain people or events in order to keep time for yourself. When you relax, relax completely. Don’t watch TV or stay connected to your phone. Let your mind go blank and let your body go limp and see how refreshed you feel when you get up.

7. Distract yourself.

Your mind is too good at imagining the worst that could happen in any situation, and worrying about that before it even happens. When you start to feel anxious, your brain latches onto this feeling and won’t let go until you’re having a full blown attack. You have to take control and distract your own mind. Do logic puzzles, math problems, or say the alphabet backwards. These seem like simple solutions, but the problems themselves are complex enough to consume your brain and let all the anxiety float away.

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8. Stop drinking caffeine.

It’s hard, I know! In fact, trying to stop drinking caffeine might be enough to distract yourself, as the last tip recommended! But caffeine is a stimulant, and consuming copious amounts will amp you up and keep you from sleeping. Caffeine is known to improve your alertness, concentration, and memory, but too much, or if you’re already inclined to anxiety, then these positive factors quickly turn into a pounding heart, inability to focus, and the jitters. Cutting caffeine will mean you’re cutting something that more than likely helps bring on anxiety attacks.

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    9. Stimulate positive thinking.

    Even if you feel down in the dumps and it seems impossible, make yourself think positive! Anxiety can’t last forever, and stress will fade away before long. Push yourself to turn every situation that’s bothering you into something positive. Tell yourself that your anxiety is unfounded, and will pass before you know it.

    10. Have a support group.

    This doesn’t mean you have to enroll in group therapy—it just means having a group of people you can talk to and rely on. It’s important to be able to be honest with others, so make sure your circle is full of people you trust. You’ll feel better if you can share your feelings, and you’ll get better feedback and advice.

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

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